Current World Champion and Ozone team pilot Honorin Hamard flew a record 306km FAI triangle in the French Alps on 9 July 2016, on an Enzo 2.
Honorin, who is currently leading XContest, started his flight with Luc Armant and friends at 9:28am from Col Agnel in the Cottian Alps west of Monte Viso. He first flew south towards the Verdon gorge, and then tagged a turnpoint to the north-west near Notre-Dame de la Salette.
The following is the report from Honorin that Ozone posted on their Facebook page:
The forecast was good but a bit windy in the morning. We took off [flying the Enzo 2] at 9h36 from Col Agnel in the Cottian Alps, with a big FAI triangle in mind. The view was amazing, small cumulus clouds forming with a 3,500m base, big vertical walls, a lot of marmots and chamois and in the background we could see, the highest mountain in the area, Monte Viso (3,841 m).
We had to fly very fast to achieve the 300km triangle and with these weather conditions it seemed possible!
We flew together, along the high mountain range, for around 70km before we split and took different lines. At the first south-west turnpoint, I turned further than the rest of the group but my time was still ok. The shaded terrain made the way to the second turnpoint not so easy. We crossed Serre Ponçon Lake before arriving to a beautiful natural reserve and the best place to be in summer, Massif de Ecrins.
At this point the north wind had stopped and the vision of a long FAI triangle felt closer. On my way back and reunited with Luc and friends hitting the 280km mark, but I kept flying further aiming for the 300km flight. During this part of the flight I ran into an unexpected and low 2,600m cloudbase.
At “Notre Dame de la Salette” I found myself flying above a grassy and stable area with almost zero activity until I reached the rocky side of the slope where a 4m/s was waiting for me! I came back straight to the biggest mountain in the take off vicinity, finding a nice breeze and good thermals this late during the day. On the Italian side I could see clouds as low as 1,600m but on my French side I had reached 3,700 m in my last thermal, unbelievable!
I flew 3km passing the take-off and came back to finish my flight under 400m cylinder to hit a new 306km Free FAI Triangle Record! I made it! I landed to meet with the boys that had landed an hour earlier.
Now we had a new excuse to celebrate, our next turn point: a beer to celebrate another splendid flight! After 11hours and 1minute in the air, that night, I slept like a baby”
Ozone added that Luc’s flight was slightly shorter than Honorin’s putting him in second place behind Honorin in the French XC League. Honorin is currently leading the XContest with just six flights. Thomas Walder of Austria flew a 325km triangle with his Enzo in 2014, but did not officially close the circuit so missed the FAI record.
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